Notes: The Cobalt was introduced to replace two of Chevy’s smaller cars, the Cavalier and Prizm. But the compact’s fresh start that Chevy was hoping for was riddled with issues, most notably widespread power steering failure.

The power steering failed so often that GM was forced to issue a recall in March, 2010. Great, but what about other problems like the key getting stuck in the ignition or all the other electrical demons this car possesses?

And, oh yes — then there’s the terribly dangerous issue where the Cobalt randomly shuts off while driving. As it turns out, that problem is related to GM’s massive 2014 recall for a dangerous ignition switch defect. A recall that eventually ballooned to 2.6 million vehicles in one of the automotive industry’s biggest scandals.


pretty bad
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
4,128 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2005 Chevrolet Cobalt accessories - exterior problems

accessories - exterior problem

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2005 Chevrolet Cobalt Owner Comments

problem #2

Aug 292007

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


I have a 2005 Chevy Cobalt with less that 30K miles I was driving home from work when my car just shut off no hazard lights turn signals brakes steering no power at all I could have been killed in all traffic because there was no way of signaling. It took three tries to get it started again there was no warning check engine light never came on I immediately took it to the dealership because this was the second time it has happened to me I had this problem last year also GM never had a recall they just put a plastic piece around the ignition and said it was fixed I told my dealer that there was a bulletin out about this and I asked them why there was no recall to replace the ignition switch after this second incident GM wanted to put a magnetic device in to keep the key from moving in the ignition any they placed a piece of plastic in my actual key I called GM and placed a formal complaint because this is a serious safety concern people are going to be hurt or killed if they get involved in a rear end collision or have no way of pulling off roadway spoke to my service manager and dealership replaced ignition switch there has never been a recall on this I do not trust that it will not happen again I am afraid to drive this car this is not the only problem I have had with this car the fan blower the shift on the floor the sunroof switch keeps falling out of the roof the window motors have burned out my interior paint and door handles were peeling after the first year I don't blame my service department because they have fixed the car the way GM told them to I feel very unsafe in this car why should I have to wait until he ignition shuts off a third time this could be my last if what is GM doing about this" are they going to do a recall? what else has to happen to me before they take this seriously" I am extremely dissatisfied with this car and I do not want it anymore. * 12/12/07 the dealer stated driver side rear power window was inoperable. Updated 12/12/07

- Trafford, PA, USA

problem #1

May 272006

Cobalt 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,257 miles
First it was the engine stall due to faulty fuse box which they fixed. Then there was the sun roof cap which fell of twice and they attempted to fix four (4) times. Both which are under the Cobalts tsbs I think. Now it's the ses light with a P0171 dtc code or the air fuel mixture is off. I took it in three (3) times and on the final one they said they have no solution and they cant do anything about it. It is currently under investigation by GM not only in the 2005-2006 Chevy Cobalt, the 2005-2006 Pontiac pursuit, and the 2005-2006 Saturn ion. All which have the 2.2L ecotec L61 engine. It troubles me that they say they cant do anything about it and to just keep bringing it in when light comes on. That is truly a pathetic answer to this problem. They are costing me time and money and this is no way to run a business. This is clearly an issue they cant solve and that is affecting 3 different cars. There was nothing done to fix the defect except turn off the check engine light, no other repairs have developed for this defect in GM's vehicles.

- El Paso, TX, USA

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